Self Prep in lieu of CGAS

GeorgiaGus

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Feb 20, 2021
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Wondering if someone can post what the CGAS curriculum is comprised of.
Is there higher math, like Calc, Differential Equations, Complex Analysis?

If one were to self prep I would think it would make sense to mirror the actual CGAS curriculum.

A conflict I have is I have a full scholarship to University of North Georgia (one of the six senior military colleges United States Senior Military College), and plan to join the cadet corp. Would going to one of the prep schools be a step down? Could I do the CGAS curriculum at UNG?
 

ekb1398

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Apr 3, 2016
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I didn't go to CGAS, but I did go to a regular college and do ROTC before I came to the Academy after not getting in the first time.

CGAS is meant to help you round out more academically if you were struggling. Self prep is a great option for people with low SAT's, struggled through math, etc. If you're looking to take classes like Diff Eq and Complex Analysis next year, in my opinion, that's not what you need. Go to college and study based on what the first year at the Academy would look like in your chosen major. Keep in mind that even for, say, a government major, that includes calculus and physics and chemistry - that STEM will be important for a future application. I think the curriculums are available online, but if not, let me know and I can probably get it sent your way. Also, keep in mind that a SMC is a valid way to gain appointment as an officer in the Coast Guard through Direct Commission Selected Schools (DCSS) program. It would probably require you to not contract with another branch beforehand though (assuming your scholarship is academic, not ROTC related?). Food for thought. Take advantage of that full ride. Also, keep in mind that even though your credits will not automatically transfer from another school to the Academy, you can take a test for validation of those credits, so it definitely is not time wasted. Even if you don't transfer any credits, it still isn't time wasted. You'll learn lots about yourself, what works for you, time management, etc. At least I did, and I feel it helped me tremendously - much more so than my validations.
 

nerfnugget

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Mar 17, 2020
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Wondering if someone can post what the CGAS curriculum is comprised of.
Is there higher math, like Calc, Differential Equations, Complex Analysis?

If one were to self prep I would think it would make sense to mirror the actual CGAS curriculum.

A conflict I have is I have a full scholarship to University of North Georgia (one of the six senior military colleges United States Senior Military College), and plan to join the cadet corp. Would going to one of the prep schools be a step down? Could I do the CGAS curriculum at UNG?
Another thing that may help is joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary University Program. It's pretty small and not many people know of it, but it's a great way to show initiative, leadership and interest. Here's the link and feel free to PM me any questions!

 

MrFiggs

MMI CGA self '21 | Battalion Chaplain
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Oct 10, 2019
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Right now I'm a self-prep at MMI and I'm taking the exact course schedule as the CGA Scholars here. My class schedule is as follows (current 2nd semester):

General Physics II
General Chemistry II
Trigonometry For Calculus (Precalculus)
English 102
Military Science

It's a very STEM-heavy course load and similar to that of a fourth class at the academy (fourth class cadets typically take calculus instead of precalc). Remember that the fourth class cadets at the academy do not necessarily focus on their intended major and more-so general stem classes. It's quite challenging but this course load is what the CGA expects its scholars to handle. Generally, if you want to reapply you'll have a pretty good shot if you can hold a 3.5 GPA with this.

Also perhaps I'm a biased source of information, but I have really had a good experience as a self-prep at MMI. You get quite a bit of contact with CGA representatives (LT Strickland, Chief Verhagen, and Mr. McMunn) and Admiral Kelly is expected to come down to MMI in late March. I've had amazing interactions with all the CGAS cadets here too, some of which have become my closest friends. I was honestly in the exact same position as you last year and I have no regrets coming to this school. This is just the personal experience that I have had, however, there are plenty of other ways to reapply to CGA or become an officer in the Coast Guard; everyone has a different path!
 

shiner

USAFA Grad, Faculty 3yrs, ALO 7yrs, DS USMMA '24
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If money is an issue, stick with the scholarship. If not, follow the @MrFiggs model and mirror the program where the other CGAS students are. You will become close to your classmates and ensure you have a common experience in a community that is laser focused on the outcome and all have the same goals. My concern with simply mirroring the academic curriculum is that it is only part of the equation and the other elements are difficult to recreate.
 

USCGAFL

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Dec 3, 2019
Messages
130
Wondering if someone can post what the CGAS curriculum is comprised of.
Is there higher math, like Calc, Differential Equations, Complex Analysis?

If one were to self prep I would think it would make sense to mirror the actual CGAS curriculum.

A conflict I have is I have a full scholarship to University of North Georgia (one of the six senior military colleges United States Senior Military College), and plan to join the cadet corp. Would going to one of the prep schools be a step down? Could I do the CGAS curriculum at UNG?
If you have option of CGAS I would definitely consider going that route in lieu of Full Scholarship at North Georgia.

CGAS is a golden ticket into Coast Guard Academy plus you have a full scholarship with E-2 pay as well.
 

ekb1398

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If you have option of CGAS I would definitely consider going that route in lieu of Full Scholarship at North Georgia.

CGAS is a golden ticket into Coast Guard Academy plus you have a full scholarship with E-2 pay as well.
For actual CGAS, I agree. For self prep, not so much.
 

GeorgiaGus

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Feb 20, 2021
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If you have option of CGAS I would definitely consider going that route in lieu of Full Scholarship at North Georgia.

CGAS is a golden ticket into Coast Guard Academy plus you have a full scholarship with E-2 pay as well.
I did not realise CGAS cadets get paid as well like USCGA cadets. I don't understand the "E-2 pay"; is it a different pay grade ? My understanding USCGA cadets are paid 35% of O-1 pay grade.
 

USCGAFL

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CGAS cadets enlist as an E-2 in the Coast Guard during their CGAS year. As a result, they receive E-2 pay during this year. They receive 100% of E-2 pay rate for CGAS year. They have expenses, but they can save quite a bit of money during this year.

Their enlistment ends at completion of CGAS year and they are paid differently as a cadet at the Academy. My understanding is it's less pay as a Coast Guard Academy cadet.
 
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GeorgiaGus

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CGAS cadets enlist as an E-2 in the Coast Guard during their CGAS year. As a result, they receive E-2 pay during this year. They receive 100% of E-2 pay rate for CGAS year. They have expenses, but they can save quite a bit of money during this year.

Their enlistment ends at completion of CGAS year and they are paid differently as a cadet at the Academy. My understanding is it's less pay as a Coast Guard Academy cadet.
oh, wow so that explains it a bit.. Placate my curiosity here,,,, does one's CGAS year as a E-2 count as one service year?
For example, if cadets graduate the academy, and become a O-1, they have zero years, but would get their first pay bump crossing from <2 to 3 years. Would CGAS cadets, with a year of E-2 already have a year of service upon Academy graduation, or do you just start over?
 

ekb1398

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@GeorgiaGus I've become somewhat confused - have you been denied, or are you just learning about self prep in case, or are you asking about CGAS? The discussion of CGAS here isn't bad, but I think it's important not to conflate CGAS and self-prep. CGAS is full tuition scholarship, pay as an E-2, and a pretty assured guarantee of acceptance in to the next class if grades, conduct, medical, etc. are good. Self-prep is none of those things - you pay to school and is by no means a silver bullet for admittance, though success rate is relatively high. Just trying to make sure that it's clear what's being discussed.
 

GeorgiaGus

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@GeorgiaGus I've become somewhat confused - have you been denied, or are you just learning about self prep in case, or are you asking about CGAS? The discussion of CGAS here isn't bad, but I think it's important not to conflate CGAS and self-prep. CGAS is full tuition scholarship, pay as an E-2, and a pretty assured guarantee of acceptance in to the next class if grades, conduct, medical, etc. are good. Self-prep is none of those things - you pay to school and is by no means a silver bullet for admittance, though success rate is relatively high. Just trying to make sure that it's clear what's being discusse
No, haven't been denied...just learning about self prep in case.
I have a good total package, but terrible SAT (1170) I am just trying to make sure I know all the paths to get to my single goal; the Academy. If I get denied, and don't get CGAS, I want a clear path for what to do next.
I get the differences. I think I am pretty clear now. I was late to the game so I have been playing catch up with the knowledge base.

I see it in priority as:
* Direct appointment (ya, that would be awesome)
* CGAS - (still pretty awesome) and then Academy.
* Self prep - UNG (one of the six Senior Military colleges), where I currently have a full academic scholarship - for one year and then Academy.
* Self prep - One of the CGAS schools, probably GMI, with Georgia HOPE scholarship which covers tuition only at 100% - for one year and then Academy.

If I still didn't make it I would continue at UNG, and do a Georgia Regents Program transfer to Georgia Tech, and then look at USCG Direct Commission doing OCS at the Academy....so one way or another I'll get there... :)
 

Former0311

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Apr 1, 2020
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Whatever path you are sent on, hang in there. My daughter stated her friend has been trying to get into a military academy for the last 3-4 years and was accepted this year.
 
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